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Influencer Marketing: Old Concepts, New Dynamics

Lars Smit    07/05/18

Social Media

 

   

 

Influencer Marketing is often referred to as the new goldrush within the marketing world. Reaching new potential customers through influential people is high on the list of many companies. A recent survey showed not only that 84% of entrepreneurs are planning on setting up an influencer campaign, but also that almost 60% of them are willing to invest more budget in these matters. However, influencer marketing is nothing new. Ever since the beginning of television, celebrities have been branding all kinds of products. However, the internet, particularly social media, gives the notion of influencer marketing a whole new dimension. Now basically anyone can become an influencer.

 

When it comes to social media, companies are looking for the ‘popular kids’ who set the rules in terms of social norms. Nowadays, a high amount of impressions or unlimited exposure is of less importance. Targeting a specific audience is key and having an influential person that is also linked to your brand might just be your ticket to successfully targeting the audience you have in mind. Think for example about the make-up bloggers on YouTube and Instagram that in some cases have millions of followers: as a make-up company cooperating with these bloggers, you will have immediate access to all these followers that are already interested in the kind of products you are selling.

 

On top of that, influencer marketing brings a couple of other benefits. People can walk away or take their phones to do something else when commercials are being shown on their televisions. Plus, about 47% of all internet users use ad blockers, preventing them from seeing any ads. By promoting your product as part of an influencer’s online presence, you can avoid these problems and brand it very smoothly to an audience of potential buyers.

 

Successful bloggers are just as interested in cooperating with companies. More and more people know that you can make good money with a large social media following. They are therefore very keen to gain more followers to strengthen their own personal brand, develop social media communities and ultimately expand their influence. Social media channels are now not just about keeping in touch; they are also social market places.

 

The Basics of B2B-Influencer Marketing

 

That B2C influencer campaigns can be successful and financially rewarding is clear. However, B2B-branding is a whole different question and it can be very challenging to find the right approach. Unlike B2C-marketing campaigns, selling products from one business to another can take years and factors like trust and maintained regular, close contact are of bigger importance within the sales process. You are dealing with an audience that is not only highly critical, but in a lot of cases also has acquired knowledge about the product they are planning on buying. With large amounts of money involved and fierce competitors , having a thorough understanding of all touchpoints within the customer journey and developing a strong bond between both parties is indispensable.

 

In a study done by Forrester, on how people gather information about certain companies, were some surprising results. It turned out that three times as much information can be found through channelsthat are not owned or supervised by the company itself. These can be websites or blogs that are delivering content related to entrepreneurship and business administration. In other words: most potential buyers already have an impression of your business, based on content available on the internet and will make decisions according to your representation online. In fact, 60 percent of all B2B-clients only initiate contact when they have already made up their mind about whether cooperation is likely to happen. How you present yourself online and how you deal with others on the world wide web is crucial to making a positive impression.

According to the Forrester study meaningful and informative content is one important aspect of making strong first impressions. Working closely together with an influencer, in addition, is a way to ensure that your online representation is as strong as possible.

 

Finding the right influencer that is representative of your brand might be challenging and overwhelming at first. Within the field of B2B-marketing, decency and professionalism are a virtue and of much more value than big social media followings or comedic internet performances. This means that you should not search for an influencer to use him or her as clickbait. Instead, try to find something more profound that connects the both of you.

 

How to find the right B2B Influencer? That will be coming up soon in our next blog post.